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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority working with partners to accelerate the transition to net zero

  • The partnership’s aim is to deliver jobs and growth through local green infrastructure projects

  • The Combined Authority hosted roundtable to bring together experts from across the sector to discuss the key opportunities and challenges

  • Liverpool City Region vision is for zero emission buses across the whole network

In a move designed to catalyse the delivery of zero emission buses, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) has worked collaboratively with the Local Low Carbon Accelerator (LLCA) on a blueprint to accelerate the roll out of local net zero projects.

The Combined Authority is one of three areas that joined forces with the LLCA established by four members of the Prime Minister’s Business Council – Lloyds Banking Group, Octopus Energy, National Grid and Shell.

Members of the Local Low Carbon Accelerator Group

The public and private sector partnership has developed delivery models and ground-breaking solutions that would speed up the deployment of energy efficiency home retrofits, zero emission buses, and zero emission vehicle infrastructure.

With this in mind, the focus for the CA has been on exploring opportunities, including finance and procurement options, to scale the deployment of zero emission fleets as part of Mayor Rotheram’s pledge to reform bus services across the region, which will support the transition to net zero while boosting economic growth.

The move supports Mayor Steve Rotheram’s ambitions for the city region to be net zero by 2040 – a decade ahead of national government targets. The region is already on its way to building a cleaner, greener public London-style transport system, having invested in a £500m fleet of new trains and game changing battery technology, hydrogen buses, and nearly £70m in active travel infrastructure.

The vision includes replacing 1,200 mainly diesel buses with zero emission buses through a phased approach over a period of 15 years.

Alongside this, Mayor Rotheram has also committed to investing £105m to retrofit 10,000 homes across the city region.

The programme is helping residents to save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills, while also reducing domestic property emissions across the region.

This work culminated in the final roundtable event on Tuesday 4 July hosted by the CA in Liverpool and chaired by UK Infrastructure Bank CEO, John Flint that bought together senior leaders to discuss the key learnings from this collaboration, providing attendees with tangible actions they can take forward with their own organisations.

The session also enabled discussions around how to navigate the remaining challenges to unlock the full impact of bus decarbonisation for the UK.

Richard McGuckin, the Combined Authority’s Executive Director for Place, said: 

“One of the many benefits of working with the LLCA is being able to tap into a wealth of expertise and knowledge from other organisations and uncover options that may not have been previously identified. This valuable work will ultimately result in us putting the building blocks in place for us to deliver what we want and at pace.

“The decarbonisation of our transport network is a priority. Transforming bus services with innovative sustainable technology will not only directly benefit passengers but should deliver a host of other economic and environmental benefits, including reduced congestion, better air quality, and improved access to key public services.

“We’ve been delighted to take part in this initiative and share learning for others to draw on to drive similar projects that will enable communities to progress and develop.”

The LLCA findings have been published in a report, available online, as a learning source for other local authorities and organisations.

Commenting on the initiative, John Flint CEO at the UK Infrastructure Bank, which has a dedicated Local Authority Advisory service as well as flexible financing options, said:

“The contribution and commitment of Combined and Local Authorities to decarbonisation of buildings and transport systems is crucial if the UK is to meet its net zero targets. They can’t achieve progress at pace without private sector partnerships, and it’s positive to see this in action through initiatives like the Local Low Carbon Accelerator.

“As a Bank we are supporting Local Authorities in all four nations of the UK as we seek to accelerate the transition to net zero at a local level, as well and drive regional and local economic growth.”

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